What Do Inspectors Find During Routine Chimney Inspections?

Professional Chimney InspectionsThe ideal chimney inspection turns up no problems, and the chimney inspector gives it a complete bill of health. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Many things can happen to a chimney over time, especially one that’s used regularly. Here are some chimney issues inspectors often uncover during routine chimney inspections.

Leaky chimney

Chimney leaks are common and can be caused by damaged masonry, spalling bricks, cracks in the chimney crown, a faulty or missing chimney cap, damaged roof flashing and other problems. Your chimney inspector will look for water in the firebox, strong odors coming from the fireplace, crumbling mortar on the roof and other signs, some of which we’ll talk about below.

Chimney masonry damage

Chimney inspections often turn up damage to the chimney’s masonry. Loose or missing bricks, cracking in the mortar and sections of masonry that have fallen away from the structure all can lead to ongoing water damage and an unsafe operational environment. For minor damage, your inspector might recommend applying a waterproof sealant. For more extensive problems, tuck-pointing (adding a strong compound to missing areas of masonry) or partial or complete chimney rebuilding may be necessary.

Chimney liner damage

A split, cracked or otherwise broken chimney liner leaves the interior chimney masonry and parts of your home vulnerable to fire and serious damage. No chimney liner lasts forever, whether it’s made of clay tiles, steel or a poured-in-place compound. Your chimney inspector can assess the condition of your damaged liner and recommend either repair work or chimney liner replacement.

Cracks in the chimney crown

Professional Chimney Crown RepairThe cement chimney crown at the top of your chimney is there to protect against infiltrating water from rain and snow. Cracked chimney crowns will allow water to run into them, freeze and expand and cause further damage, and finally move down to the bricks, where a process of decay will begin. Minor cracks can usually be sealed; extensive damage might require rebuilding the crown.

Dangerous levels of creosote

Flammable creosote is formed during the condensing of smoke in the flue when burning wood in the fireplace. Creosote can appear as a flakey, sticky or solid substance, all of which clings to the inside of the chimney liner. Most chimney fires happen because of creosote. If your chimney contains excess creosote, your inspector will recommend professional chimney sweep services.

Obstructions that impede drafting

For smoke and gasses to rise through the chimney and exit into the outside air, a clean flue is necessary. If debris such as small-animal nests, leaves, twigs and the like have entered your chimney, proper drafting will be impaired. This can lead to smoke and carbon monoxide backing up into the home. As with creosote, chimney cleaning is the only way to solve this problem. (Note: if you operate your chimney without a chimney cap, have one installed to keep this problem from happening in the first place.)

The value of professional chimney inspections

By scheduling annual chimney inspections, you’re able to spot minor signs of trouble throughout your chimney system and have them repaired quickly before serious, expensive damage occurs. Inspections are the best way to keep your chimney, your home and your family safe all year long. If it’s time to have your chimney professionally inspected by a CSIA-certified technician, call Black Moose Chimney & Stove of Antrim, NH, at (603) 525-7905.


First Thing

John RantaJohn Ranta
17:01 22 Mar 24
They arrived on time, worked quickly and showed me the results. Prfessional throughout. jr
william greenwilliam green
23:21 14 Mar 24
Really helped me out can't say enough good things highly recommend!!!! The young man that came to my home was very knowledgeable and friendly great attitude all around answered all my questions and left me stress free best of all left no mess.🤙🏻🤙🏻
Michael Dell'OrtoMichael Dell'Orto
18:39 14 Mar 24
Jaime ConleyJaime Conley
17:13 14 Mar 24
Sarah GilliattSarah Gilliatt
01:46 13 Mar 24
A very thorough and careful job done! Thank you.
Larry CookLarry Cook
15:11 07 Mar 24
I wanted to give 5 stars but they are very busy which meant I had a good wait for both the inspection/cleaning, then for a quote on repairs and then for the repairs. Their prices seemed a little high to me but I have nothing to compare with as they were highly recommended by someone I trust and other companies had plenty of negatives reviews which kept me from getting additional quotes. I am happy with the work and they promptly returned to fix a mistake that had been made. Chris the inspector, Jennifer in the office, and Alex and his repair crew were all pleasant and took the time to answer all of my questions. Alex and his crew even took their shoes off (it was winter) before entering my house without even being asked! So if you are not in a rush and want to ensure you chimney is as safe as possible then I think you'll be happy with Black Moose.
Rebecca DeFuscoRebecca DeFusco
22:35 21 Feb 24
After a recent sweep of our chimney, it was discovered that our flue tiles were cracked. Black Moose techs were hard working, detail oriented and professional! Nice jobs guys! See you next year for my cleaning!
Karen CKaren C
14:52 14 Feb 24
Excellent I highly recommend Black Moose Chimney and Stove; Kelly and Liam are awesome, they did a great job. Extremely professional, arrived early, went through everything with a fine tooth comb ensuring pellet stove was thoroughly cleaned. They also were respectful of my home, conscientious and cleaned up after themselves. Made sure stove worked prior to leaving and told me to call promptly if anything came up afterward. Will definitely use them again.
Denise ClarkDenise Clark
16:32 31 Jan 24
We've had Black Moose clean our chimney for a number of years.But recently, we had an emergency situation at our home involving our chimney & oil furnace flue, which was caked full of soot from a malfunctioning furnace. They came & cleaned out both flues in no time, even going up on the roof with snow on it! They cleaned up after their work in the interior rooms where the oil furnace and the woodstove are located. Great work. Reasonable prices. Very nice people. You can't go wrong with Black Moose.
Joe GJoe G
18:30 24 Jan 24
Goods: The technicians know their business, very efficient in cleaning/inspection along with cleaning up after the 'dirty work'.Others: Communications could be more effective. Despite early coordination about scope of work (multiple flues within same chimney) the estimate provided did not reflect this and the final invoice was significantly more than the estimate provided.Quote for follow-on chimney relining was significantly more than that offered by other companies in the area (and far more than neighbors experienced for similar work accomplished by other companies)